Ever wished you could have access to a fashion stylist at your fingertips? Sam Preston stands out among the many online style consultants now making that a possibility. Finding a following with those who identify with her refined, yet laid-back and achievable daily wear, Sam offers her Insta community goal-worthy OOTDs, trend forecasts, personal styling opportunities and, importantly, sage advice for making your garments last in a minimalist wardrobe.

Drifting from the excessive influencer hauls that have become second nature in the online fashion space, Sam instead looks to promote responsible consumption - every day proof that being conscious never has to compromise your style. Today, we sit down with her as she shares ultimate styling tips, her wardrobe essentials and everything she’ll be wearing this spring.

Hi Sam, for readers meeting you for the first time, please share more about what you do and what drew you to the fashion space?
I’ve been in fashion since I was 15 years old. Before that I was always experimenting with fashion with my mum. As 1 of 5 kids we couldn’t afford much so my mum would make clothes, and I was always cutting up old clothes and making new ‘on trend’ ones, I knew from an early age I wanted to work in fashion. I studied fashion design with marketing and promotion at university, then fell into fashion buying and worked for companies such as Topshop, River Island, very.com and many more. During my time at Topshop I developed a love for styling, I would spend so much time with the stylists, styling for campaigns and stores that I knew I wanted to persue styling. When it was time to start a family, I decided to turn my attention to starting a styling business concentrating on building forever & considered wardrobes for clients. To market my business I was advised ‘your vibe attracts your tribe’ hence Instagram and showing my style, and the rest is history as they say.

As a personal stylist, what are 3 essential tips you could offer our community looking to refine a minimalist wardrobe at home?
REFINE YOUR STYLE -  Know how you want to look and feel. This might mean starting over and stripping your wardrobe back to basics. This is how I started. Clear out what no longer serves you and understand what makes you feel your best self. Forget trends and all the noise of social media. I really do believe style comes from having confidence and being your authentic self. 
UNIFORM DRESSING - Uniform dressing is a simple method of pulling key looks from a wardrobe full of your key building blocks. My uniform is having a great pair of jeans, a simple t-shirt and a classic blazer. Having those core foundation, hero pieces (capsule wardrobe) makes getting dressed so much easier and helps refine and define your style. You become more creative in your styling having fewer options. A uniform doesn’t mean you’ll always be wearing the same thing. I always add interest through accessories. It’s also important to keep refreshing it with key seasonal items keeping you inspired season after season with your capsule wardrobe.
LESS IS MORE - In styling and buying. Simple, classic pieces can be so underrated. Investing in good materials and wardrobe staples is never a bad idea, especially if you are wearing them day after day. Invest in what you can afford and they will last you for years to come. I believe effortless looks come from trusting yourself and what makes you feel your best self. 

Could you share your favourite brands to shop for foundational pieces - jeans, classic tees etc? What’s your go-to indie brand right now?

I absolutely love highstreet brands Arket & Cos for those staple pieces. Levi’s and Raey are my favourite for jeans, you can’t beat them. You really don’t need to spend much to get great quality and fit. I do like to invest in outerwear, shoes and accessories though. I love Toteme for classic outerwear. And I always love to inject my personality into my footwear and bags. This makes my staples a bit more standout. Prada and Khaite are my go-to’s.

What’s your best fashion buy to date, and alternatively, the biggest regret?

I think my best buys are my black blazers. I have a Frankie Shop one, Raey and Toteme and I wear them non stop. As soon as as I put a black blazer on, I feel my best self.

I have a few regrets - buying ‘on trend’ bags. I bought a bright pink Prada nylon bag - I've worn it once. It’s just not me. I wish I bought the black one. And for my 30th birthday my family chipped in for a Mulberry Alexa (that was my dream bag for some reason) but I wish I got a classic Chanel bag. Huge regret, now they are just far too expensive. Lesson in life…buy the classics! 

Share 4 style staples you believe have a place in every wardrobe?

Can I have 5? 😂 Everyday black dress, classic tailoring, great fitting jeans, simple t-shirt (any colour) and a button down shirt. You can make so many outfits from just having these staples.

Do second-hand pieces play a big role in your daily wear?
They do yes, but not as much as they used to when I was younger, I was always into vintage shopping. I’m definitely making a conscious effort in 2024 to look for preloved items before I buy new, and with sites like Curate & Rotate it’s definitely making it easier to shop.

What will be on your rails this spring?
In terms of newness - I’m not that big on trends but I do like to add trends if they fit my style. I tend to look for more elevated staples more than anything. I’m loving white and indigo denim, feels fresher for spring. I’m keeping the shapes classic though e.g denim jacket.
Statement jewellery - I’ve really taken the time to invest in my jewellery for the last few months. Injecting this newness elevates my staples and keeps my uniform looking new. Anything nipped in at the waist e.g hourglass blazer. I love this trend, it really compliments my bodyshape. I feel amazing in this silhouette so I’ll defo be buying more into this in terms of tops. I’m also loving sheer at the minute. I won’t be investing too much into this trend, but I like the idea of a sheer skirt paired back with a classic tee and blazer.
Anything nipped in at the waist e.g hourglass blazer. I love this trend, it really compliments my bodyshape. I feel amazing in this silhouette so i’ll defo be buying more into this in terms of tops. 
I’m also loving sheer at the minute. I won’t be investing too much into this trend but I like the idea of a sheer skirt paired back with a classic tee and blazer. 

Discover Sam and her styling services 
Instagram - @sam.preston__ / Book a personal styling session with Sam
melanie milham